STYLE

People Are Calling Out Vogue's Problematic 'Gender-Fluid' Cover Story

"Men and women swapping clothes doesn't represent gender fluidity."

07/14/2017 10:20 EDT | Updated 07/14/2017 10:22 EDT

Vogue has finally caught up to the rest of the fashion world by embracing gender fluidity, but its latest cover story, which attempts to paint Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik as the poster children for this identity, isn't going down so well.

The fashion bible's August issue features the supermodel and her pop star boyfriend dressed in unisex Gucci suits.

The accompanying article states that the couple "Are part of a new generation embracing gender fluidity" because they shop each other's closets.

"I shop in your closet all the time, don't I?" Hadid asks Malik in the article, to which he replies, "Yeah, but same." Malik also explains that he borrowed Hadid's Anna Sui t-shirt. "I like that shirt," he said. "And if it's tight on me, so what? It doesn't matter if it was made for a girl."

Hadid replies, "Totally. It's not about gender. It's about, like, shapes. And what feels good on you that day. And anyway, it's fun to experiment..."

And although a lot of people loved the cover (it is gorgeous, tbh), many were quick to point out that being gender-fluid isn't about swapping clothes.

Some wondered why a straight, cisgender couple were picked to represent gender fluidity.

Others pointed out the irony that two gorgeous people who uphold society's narrow beauty standards are called "gender-fluid."

And others made us LOL because they are so on point.

As Elaine Lui, of Lainey Gossip, points out, "At the end of the day, while Gigi and Zayn might be into wearing each other's clothes, the public still receives them as cisgender.

"He's a male pop star with a top model girlfriend. She's a top model with a really hot boyfriend. And both of them move around in protected circles. I'm not saying it's not important for them... to encourage acceptance, my point is that the way this piece reads, coming out and embracing whoever you are seems EASY. Pretty sure we're not there yet."

While it's true that being gender-fluid isn't about swapping clothes, it's an important step for inclusion when a major fashion brand recognizes it as a real identity.

Catwalking via Getty Images
A model walks the runway at the Rad Hourani Autumn Winter 2014 fashion show during Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week on July 9, 2014 in Paris, France. (Photo by Catwalking/Getty Images)

As we've seen for the past few years, fashion brands such as Rick Owens, Thom Browne and J.W. Anderson have been embracing and promoting gender fluidity through their collections, and Louis Vuitton recently featured Jaden Smith wearing a skirt in one of their ads.

"More and more, it feels instinctively right to translate the same idea for both genders," Miuccia Prada told Style.com in 2014 after her menswear show.

And Canadian designer Rad Hourani has been designing a unisex line since 2007.

"Who decided that a man should dress in one way and a woman in another? Or that different ages should dress differently? Who imposed these codes?" Hourani told Fashionista in 2014. "It doesn't make sense to me to limit things. I'm not trying to dress a man like a woman or the opposite. I'm creating a new way of dress that makes people look modern without any limits."